Week 6: Markups, Hearings, and Tours

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Friday, July 12, 2013


Nikki Sanford

After the 4th of July recess week and a nice holiday weekend with the family, I jumped right back into work on Monday.  With 2 markups and 2 hearings on the agenda, there was a lot to do in very little time.  As the primary intern working Tuesday’s Markup of HR 2413—The Weather Forecasting Improvement Act, I had to work quickly with Staff to make sure the bills, amendments, and materials were prepared and organized.

This was the very first markup I’ve attended. Different from the hearings, where information is gathered to help inform legislation, markups are the time for members to address issues and propose changes to a bill. It was so exciting to see the legislative process in action, with members explaining their amendments, expressing concerns, debating issues, and voting on the changes. I also had the opportunity to photograph this markup, along with Thursday’s Dept. of Energy Oversight and Management Hearing. It’s amazing how many small details you can pick up through the lens of the camera; like the subtle interactions of Members conferring with counsel, and expressions and reactions to comments and questions.

Another notable event this week was that I got my very first tour of the Capitol during tour training. I’ve been through the various buildings and tunnels many times over the past 6 weeks, but this was the first time I got to hear the history of many statues, paintings, rooms, chambers, and even how Virginia sandstone is the most common building material in the Capitol buildings. I love hearing about the history behind places and artifacts, and I look forward to sharing it with the other AIP interns when they come for a tour in a couple weeks.

As this extremely eventful and busy week winds down, it’s hard to believe I only have three weeks left with the Committee. I’m sure it will seem to go by quickly, especially with a number of events coming up–like touring NIST or meeting with Rep. Bill Foster and Dr. Mather. I’m eagerly awaiting what’s to come, and sharing these experiences in my next blog post!

Nikki Sanford